London Mayor Sadiq Khan has finally lifted the covers off a database of rogue landlords in London.
Rumours that some councils were keeping a database of convicted landlords and letting agents in the capital have persisted for years.
But this is the first time the bad landlords and letting agents have been collectively named and shamed.
Check A Landlord is a public record of landlords and letting agents convicted of housing related offences across 10 London boroughs – Brent, Camden, Greenwich, Islington, Kingston, Newham, Southwark, Sutton, Waltham Forest, Westminster.
Barking and Dagenham, Croydon, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Lewisham, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets will add information to the database within a few weeks.
Behind the scenes, the London Fire Brigade and councils can swap and collect information about landlords.
The public database allows tenants to check out the backgrounds of their landlords and letting agents before signing a contract or handing over money.
Information will stay on the database for up to 10 years.
Data held includes the landlord’s name, the street name and first four post code digits of the landlord’s home address, the offence committed and date of prosecution or enforcement, the rental address and the borough taking action.
Sadiq Khan said: “The housing market in London is difficult enough to navigate, without those landlords and letting agents who behave unscrupulously leaving tenants living in appalling conditions, despite often paying sky-high rents.
“I promised to do everything within my powers to help Londoners facing this problem – I will not stand by while they are exploited.
“Many landlords and agents across London offer a great service – but sadly some don’t. My new database is about empowering Londoners to make informed choices about where they rent, and sending rogue operators a clear message: you have nowhere to hide.
“Boroughs on the database and I are using our existing powers to help London’s renters – but to go much further we need investment and resources from central government. For a start they should stop dragging their feet on the creation of the compulsory national database they promised to set-up.”